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Good News - March 2019

Free Yourself (The Rest of the Story)

            In the midst of last weeks message on forgiving the vampires in our lives, I promised Id dive a bit deeper into the topic here, so that we werent in church until the chili cook-off. The forgiveness rabbit hole seems to start with many misconceptions that we have about the topic (understandable as they may be). So I wanted to share a few ideas on what forgiveness is not, so we can have a clearer understanding of what forgiveness is.

            Forgiveness is not excusing unjust behavior. Im not about to say that what she did was okay! If you have something to forgive, the good news is that Gods not asking you to say its okay. Sin is sin. Consider this story from John 8, where a woman caught in adultery (i.e. sin) is brought before Jesus. As Jesus pulls off some brilliant lawyering, the accusers fall away and its just the woman and Jesus. What does He tell her? I dont condemn you. Now go, and from now on do not sin again. Jesus forgives, and still calls the sin out.

            We are forever reminding the kids to apologize when they hurt each other (they get enough practice, youd think theyd have it down!). But Ill make a point, if they are apologizing to me, not to say its okay (excusing the behavior), but saying I forgive you (what you did isnt right, but I forgive you anyway).

            Why forgive? They should pay for what they have done! I get this attitude better than any bullet point I could write about. But it is that an attitude and one that can get us into danger if we assume the role of judge, jury and executioner (hrmm, sounds like the vampires we were talking about!). But we can trust that God mets out justice perfectly (Romans 12:19), even if its not the fast and hard justice we may want. In some situations, we may have to trust the legal system to work (there are cases like that). Either way, forgiveness isnt based on I got the chance to exact revenge first.

            I dont think I could trust this person again. Fair enough. There are many cases when one person hurts another and the relationship is never the same completely reasonable. Forgiveness is an instant thing. Trust, if it is ever rebuilt, happens over time. Sometimes it is never rebuilt. Sometimes the remnants of a relationship change drastically. That is okay. We can still make it our practice to not hold that hurt over their heads (a working definition of forgiveness, yes?).

            How do I know if Ive really forgiven somebody? I hate to answer this like its a simple matter, but if you could hear their name or see them across the banana aisle and honestly wish them well, thats a sign you have forgiven them. If the scene still brings ill feelings, its time to practice forgiveness again (perfectly understandable place to be).

            I hope this scratches the surface a little deeper for you. My prayer is that this week, you have little that you have to forgive, but if you do that you are able to do it well.

Many Blessings, 

Pastor Brian



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Wake Up Call Who Is Like God? (1/4) Micah 1:1-7
Good News For Sale Who Is Like God? (2/4) Micah 3:1-12
Who Are You Again? Who Is Like God? (3/4) Micah 4:6-5:5a
God Like No Other Who Is Like God? (4/4) Micah 7:14-20
First Things First Thanksgiving Psalm 50:1-15, 23
Lead By The Head Christ the King Sunday Ephesians 1:1523
Matter-ing TGI Monday (1/6) Matthew 28:1-10
God's Superhighway TGI Monday (2/6) Matthew 22:34-40
As Is, Just As TGI Monday (3/6) Luke 19:1-10
Authentic Living TGI Monday (4/6) Genesis 1-2
How Not To Be A Christian At Work TGI Monday (5/6) 1 Peter 3:13-16
Kingdom Platform TGI Monday (6/6) Colossians 3:12-25
Remembering Your First Love Seeking God (1/10) Hosea 10, 11, 14
Grabbing a Slice Seeking God (2/10) 1 Chronicles 12, 16, John 13
The Truth About The Truth Seeking God (3/10) 1 John 1:5-10
No More Seeking God (4/10) John 8:2-11
God's Glue Seeking God (5/10) Ephesians 2:1-9
Getting Ready Seeking God (6/10) 1 Peter 1:13-21
Love's Acid Test Seeking God (7/10) John 14:15-24
We're Good Seeking God (8/10) 1 John 4:5-21
A Prisoner Freed Seeking God (9/10) Matthew 18:21-35
Light Power Seeking God (10/10) Galatians 5:16-26
Promise Keeper Refuel (1/5) John 14:18-31
John 16:4-15
Cosmic Math Refuel (2/5) Mark 1:1-11
Fruity Living Refuel (3/5) Galatians 5:16-26
Step One Refuel (4/5) John 3:1-16
Set Apart Refuel (5/5) Romans 8:1-11
Fear Not  Unshakeable (1/6) Matthew 28:1-10
On Your Feet Unshakeable (2/6) John 21:1-19
I Have This Hope
     song video
Unshakeable (3/6) 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The Most Perfect Imperfect Prayer Unshakeable (4/6) Mark 9:14-29
God's Job Description Unshakeable (5/6) Exodus 3:1-15
Confidence In The Chaos Unshakeable (6/6) John 16:25-33

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Good News Archive
Good News - March 2019
Good News - Feb 2019
Good News - Jan 2019
Good News - Dec 2018
Good News - Nov 2018
Good News - Oct 2018
Good News - Sept 2018
Good News - August 2018
Good News - July 2018

5694 Woodlane Newark NY 14513              Phone: (315) 331-4903              E-mail: office@woodlanechurch.org